I recently wrote an email to two Muslim colleagues apologizing for our nation’s political tenor. I shared with them my embarrassment over suggestions that our government bar Muslims from immigrating and monitor those who live here, my concern that a presidential candidate’s support congeals rather than erodes when he brays that “Islam hates us” and suggests that mosques be closed, and my dismay that so few ...

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“The road to success isn’t productivity, it’s differentiation.” – Tony Crabbe That statement is invaluably true -- especially for direct primary care (DPC) professionals. Your patients aren’t coming to you because you’re the same as everybody else. In fact, they’ve chosen you for the exact opposite reason. You’re gloriously different. The other guys force patients into the mold they’ve created: restrained by long waits, life-sucking insurance battles, and reduction to nothing more than a chart to be ...

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They were both named Mike. Both were superstar physicians and educators at MedStar Health. Both had a wife named Pam, a son, and a daughter. And both died untimely deaths within a year of 50 at the mid-point of their ascending careers, 18 months after being diagnosed with cancer. I don’t believe they knew each other, but having worked with each of them, they will be forever linked in my ...

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CMS announced that they will remove questions related to pain from the hospital consumer assessment of health care providers and systems (HCAHPS), commonly known as patient satisfaction survey.  This means that hospitals would continue to use the questions to survey patients about their inpatient pain management experience, but these questions would not affect the level of payment hospitals receive. This is a big victory for patients and the house of medicine. Here ...

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There’s no doubt physicians entering practice today leave their residency programs with a tremendous amount of medical education and training; what seems like a lifetime’s worth of knowledge crammed into just a few, intense years of instruction. Unfortunately, all the time residents spend on rotations, lecture, journal club, and myriad other obligations leaves little opportunity for getting oriented to the more mundane, yet absolutely critical components of practice. As a result, ...

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Ms. C was one of my first patients with schizophrenia. I saw her on the inpatient unit of a psychiatric hospital where I was training as a psychiatry resident. Ms. C suffered terribly from what we call the negative symptoms of schizophrenia; she sat mute for much of the day in her bed, staring out of the window. She would occasionally respond to a question with a one-word response, but ...

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Once upon a time long, long ago there lived a man who could see things that other people simply could not see. He was not born with this skill but cultivated it slowly and continuously with years of focused attention. He worked as a physician in a large hospital and would sometimes have students go with him to see patients. As far as the students were concerned, he could really see ...

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It is too easy to lose your way as a physician when faced with the daily stress of real medicine. Spending time with the next generation of physicians gives me faith that we will always have a few doctors who stand out as not just competent, but caring healers. My son is currently a surgical resident. After the break, is a letter I wrote to him when he was an intern. A ...

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The chief medical officer for Press Ganey Associates, Dr. Thomas Lee, recently posted a blog article in the New England Journal of Medicine, "The Pain That Results From Pain Management." It is no surprise that Dr. Lee takes a stand in defense of patient satisfaction surveys. His company is one of the leading companies in the medical survey industry. With the emphasis placed on the opioid epidemic ...

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asco-logo Most times, I feel excited to be an oncologist. Oncology research is accelerating and every week brings more news, whether it be a deeper understanding of tumor genomics, a broader understanding of cancer genetics and risk, and, it seems, more ways to provide precision therapy. Studies are coming out showing gains in survival in many different cancers, and ...

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